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Thread: Public Transport

  1. #11
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    London busses have a button on the side that makes a ramp pop out and it makes a suitably retarded alarm noise so everyone within 50 yards knows to stare at the unfortunate wheelchair user trying to do something as mundane as ride a bus.

    What would be ideal is if that system existed on trains. Relying on people to get a ramp set up when you embark is mildly inconvenient and irritating. Being stuck on a train because the assistance you booked and were on time for didn't have a ramp ready is frustrating.

  2. #12
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    The installation of ramps on rail vehicles has been resisted so far on safety grounds. Should an underbody mounted ramp leave the stowed position when a vehicle is in motion and foul an adjacent line, tunnel or lineside equipment (such as signals or overhead line equipment), there would be an accident with potentially very serious consequences.

    If an underbody mounted ramp is going to be chained when not in use to prevent accidental deployment, it would offer no advantage over the current system of a member of staff bringing a portable ramp, as the vehicle mounted ramp could not be used without staff assistance.


    Carrying a ramp that folds down automatically inside the doors would hinder emergency escape and would deploy automatically deploy towards people and other potential obstructions on the platform when the doors opened. The time taken by the ramps deploying and stowing would increase the time taken at each station where the ramp equipped door(s) were used.

  3. #13
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    Flymo you are aware we are living in the Information Age. The issues you list maybe could have been used as feeble excuses during the Industrial Revolution but I think they locked up people with any dissability then (Including those who menstruated?) so it wasn't an issue.

    I think if a bus ramp popped out by mistake it would potentially sever quite a few limbs and gauge a lot of cars and occupants on oxford street or w/e. So an under carriage ramp is possible. There are many, many, many, ways to have failsafes and redundancy (eg TMR).

  4. #14
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    I'm merely sharing the arguments that the rail industry themselves has put forward. The Althorpe Park incident (click the coloured text to read the RAIB report) shows the potentially serious effects of undetected protrusions beyond the loading gauge. As a defective underfloor ramp could deploy from below solebar level unknown to and unsighted by the train crew (which may well only be a driver on a typical passenger train), the potential for disaster is obvious.

    No form of procedural or mechanical interlock is foolproof. There is clearly scope for further engineering work on train carried ramps, but the UK railway authorities are understandably nervous about the potential for an on-train ramp causing a protrusion beyond loading gauge when rail vehicles can close on each other at passing speeds of 250mph (or greater on high speed lines).


    A bus runs at much lower speeds, it is much quicker to stop in the event of a problem, and a defective bus ramp is much less likely to be sucked out of the vehicle before coming into contact with a solid object such as a platform edge at full vehicle speed.


    You're a new poster in these forums. Unless you have been lurking, you might not be aware that I'm a power chair user and a firm supporter of the social model of disability.

    I want the greatest possible access to the rail network, and lament the typical requirement to give 24 hours notice of your journey or take your chances about the availability of portable ramps and a member of staff to operate them. However, it is clear that the fitment of ramps to rail vehicles is not to be undertaken lightly.

  5. #15
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    Flymo wrote:

    > Carrying a ramp that folds down automatically inside the doors would hinder emergency escape and would
    > deploy automatically deploy towards people and other potential obstructions on the platform when the doors
    > opened. The time taken by the ramps deploying and stowing would increase the time taken at each station
    > where the ramp equipped door(s) were used.

    There are no problems associated with an internally fitted fold down electric wheelchair lift in railway carriages. Whilst they are not used on the national railway network for good reason (I'll explain why below), they are used on several steam heritage railways. As an example see http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bl...pics/5034.html. See the group of 6 photos towards the bottom of the page. The electric wheelchair lift can only be operated by trained and authorised staff to ensure safety to both the passenger being boarded and the safety of the train. In the case of the Bluebell Railway the authorised operative is the train Guard.

    The big advantage of an electric wheelchair lift on trains is there use in the case of an accident or other incident. If a train running in between 2 stations is involved in an incident and disabled passengers have to be quickly de-trained, it is easier for wheelchair users to use these electric lifts as the passenger can be lowered right down to ground level. This is the reason such lifts are not used on the national railway network - many lines are electrified with a 3rd rail carrying a lethal voltage.



    A number point if I may in response to the opening post.

    I too am very disappointed by the facilities available to and treatment suffered by disabled folk using public transport. I'll first explain that I lost my mobility in July 2012 as a result of having major surgery to my spine. I was in hospital for 4½ months and throughout that time was confined to a wheelchair and unable to stand. The hospital Occupational Therapists gave me lots of advice on what they believed was to be my new living style. One of these was to avoid using public transport, particularly the railways. Railways were targeted because of the problems already mentioned in previous posts, i.e. there is no guarantee of the train being met by someone to get you on or off a train. Secondly, as a disabled person on a train you are vulnerable to attack with little or no opportunity to escape or summon help. At least on a bus you will be in sight of the driver should anything untoward occur. Obviously I refer here to using trains as a means of transport on the national railway network rather than taking a ride on a heritage railway steam train.

    Regarding bus travel, I too have encountered a bus driver who was not prepared to lower the wheelchair ramp to allow be to board the bus. Never mind, there was another bus an hour later!

    And finally, several months on since I was discharged from hospital, I am now walking again with the assistance of two walking sticks. Thus I too have encountered the problem of not being able to access a seat reserved for disabled passengers. However in my case, it's not children who occupy them, it's mostly the old people.

    My solution has been been to sign up with the Dial-A-Ride Service operated by my local council. It's door to door and is ideal for getting to the supermarket and the town centre on market day.


    Chris

  6. #16
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    I have a mobility scooter and I have tried to use a bus with it.
    Its a bit tight but you can just about do it as my scooter is only a 4 mph smaller scooter
    I have also noticed the post on the buses right in the way when trying to manoeuvre the scooter making it a real challenge.
    However the other day I was on a bus and it was the type with exit doors as well as front ones
    the wheelchair/scooter space is directly opposite the second set of doors so your straight on via a ramp and straight in to the space no hassle at all so why are all buses not built like that it would be better I feel laws about building buses need to be changed this country is still somewhat behind with disabled travel. Manchester metrolink you cant take a scooter on the tram at all why not I ask why is the tram not been designed to allow this because as I said were not tough enough with our regulations and its about time we were..........Paul

  7. #17
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    We can only take scooters on buses and trams if we have an approval certificate for them from the travel company. Bet it costs to get one. Never pursued it as, even though my scooter is only 4mph, there is no way I would get into the allocated space.

  8. #18
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    I have applied for a scooter pass from South West Trains and it was free the only reason some train companies(not all yet) have this policy is because scooter sizes do vary in weight and size therefore having an approved pass with the make and photo of your scooter on it makes it easier for staff to accept the scooter as approved for conveyance on that rail vehicle.
    Flymo makes a very good response concerning automatic ramps if they were to foul lineside equipment platforms ohe tunnels and the like would be very dangerous
    However there may be a soloution in something fitted to modern trains called traction interlock this is fitted to the power operated doors and this means the driver cannot take power unless the doors are all closed and completed a circuit.
    The automatic ramp could be wired in to this traction interlock and unless it had fully retracted and locked in place the train could not take power.
    In the unlikely event that the ramp became deployed between stations and causing an obstruction then the same thing would happen as if someone had forces a train door open the traction interlock would be broken and the brakes automatically applied.
    Its not completely fool proof but its in the right direction.
    As a railway employee I stand firmly in support of Flymo as safety always has to come first on the railway 'always' as many people who have played Russian roulette with trains have found out to there ultimate cost

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by antony2 View Post
    Hi, my name is Antony. I am starting a project at University and I hope that some of you can give me some help for research.
    The project asks to find ways that public transport can be improved or re-designed to improve the experience of people with disabilities.
    Would anyone who uses public transport or can't use public transport due a disability be able to give me some examples of your experiences, what is good about public transport? What is bad? What would make the experience easier for you?

    All input will be appreciated,
    Thanks
    Antony
    Britain is about twenty years or so behind other western countries.

    I recall the transport system in New York City, their rail and buses were impressive, this was back in April 1993. Seems we have a long way to catch up.

    What impressed me the most was the train was completely level with the platform with only a tiny gap (Amtrak Railway - not their metro system), I travelled from New York to Washington and then Florida.

    I also used the buses, they could lower the front end to the floor by just a switch, as I say this was over twenty years ago. They also waited for passengers to sit before moving off an absolute godsend to people in wheelchairs, walking sticks and parents with a pushchair. Incredibly respectful to their passengers.

    It was a shame coming home to find such a poor system in place.

    People see New York as a hustle and bustle of lively activity and everyone rushing about, they managed to do it, shame Britain can't.

  10. #20
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    Manchester metrolink you cant take a scooter on the tram at all why not I ask why is the tram not been designed to allow scooters because as I said were not tough enough with our regulations and its about time we were..........Paul[/QUOTE]

    Hi the rules changed earlier this year for Manchester Metro and they are trialling scooter use.

    http://www.metrolink.co.uk/mobilitys...s/default.aspx

    You will see there are restrictions on the scooters that can be used in terms of size and turning circle, and there's an assessment to check you would be able to manoeuvre safely. Then you get a "scooter pass". I've done all of this, and it works well for me. I drive to work so don't use it during peak times, imagine this wouldn't work so well. But it's nice to use it at the weekend.

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